Behind the Scenes: The Character Designs of “Spellbound”

In the world of animation design, it’s typical to go through multiple iterations of a character before landing on the right look. Every aspect of a character’s design is important - the clothes, the posture, the eyes, and even the facial expression tells you who a character is in one look.  

In the early versions of new Amazon Studios test movie, Spellbound, Bastien started out as the dastardly bad guy, not to be trusted. As the story developed, so did the character - he went from being a villainous accomplice of the story’s antagonist to a rogue out for himself, to a rival for Lottie’s affections, competing against another suitor, to the guy we meet in the Spellbound test movie, who thinks he’s only in it for himself, but discovers he’s a hero inside.


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A sneak peek at designs by Lily Sparks for Supanatural, an Amazon Studios pilot in production for Prime Instant Video. Sparks created the show with Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval.

Supanatural is the story of Lucretia and Hezbah, two outspoken divas who are humanity’s last line of defense against the supernatural … when they’re not working at the mall.

Amazon Studios Seeking Character Designs for Superhero Project

For Sale By SuperheroAmazon Studios is offering its first open artwork assignment: Up to $3,000 to create character designs for a Movie Development Slate project, For Sale By Superhero. These designs are for use in a test movie, a visual rough draft of a script that allows Amazon Studios to put a story in front of audiences to see how they respond. (Learn more about the Amazon Studios movie development process here.)

For Sale By Superhero is the story of a father who discovers that his new house is really the former secret headquarters of a deceased superhero, and decides to assume the hero’s identity.

To be considered, artists must submit a proposal document via the Amazon Studios site by June 18, 2012. It should be a single PDF-format document (at least 150dpi, and no larger than 50mb) and should include all of the following:

  • Contact info – Include your full name, phone number, and email address
  • Résumé – Include a list of your prior work
  • Art samples – A selection of your past work that best communicates your suitability for this assignment. You may additionally include a link to your online portfolio.

Selected artists may be invited to enter into a services agreement with Amazon Studios. Five artists engaged by Amazon Studios will initially receive $300 per character to create up to three designs (up to a total of $900); of those five artists, one will be selected to move forward with three additional designs at a rate of $300 per character. If a test movie using those character designs goes into production, that designer can earn an additional $1,200 for four more designs.

The selected character designs will be made available for use by directors and storyboard artists applying for an upcoming For Sale By Superhero animatic test movie Open Directing Assignment. Learn more about opportunities at Amazon Studios here.

See all the projects on the Amazon Studios Movie Development Slate here.